My First Few Months as a Mum of Two

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The First Few Months

As a Mum of Two

While I was pregnant with Jacob I wasn’t too worried about life with two kids. So many people say the hardest adjustment comes with your first born, so while I knew there would be an adjustment period I thought that we’d all manage just fine.

My biggest concern was how Rory would cope with the changes and the fact that he’d no longer be able to have all of my attention.

I never worried about whether I had the capacity to love another baby, because I already loved him fiercely.

I figured that I’d had a newborn before and that I wouldn’t be the first to add another baby to a family. It might be hard but I knew I’d survive. I now laugh at how naive I was.

Sure, I survived but there were definitely times I felt like I was in over my head. Way over my head.

And while overall it’s been a positive time, filled with so much love. It’s also been so much harder than I thought it would be.

Some people find the change from 0-1 harder than the change from 1-2, but I definitely found it harder this time around. Thankfully Jacob has been a pretty easy newborn and I’ve had no problems with breastfeeding or keeping him settled. The hardest part, without a doubt, has been dealing with Rory and trying to help him through the big transition.

The boys are 2 years and 3 months apart, so while Rory can talk and understand lots, he can’t really communicate all of his big emotions. Trying to be there for him while also dealing with a newborn has been tricky. There were so many moments where I was pulled in a million directions.

The first few weeks all went pretty smoothly. Rory was super gentle with Jacob. He was (and still is) obsessed with him. He’s always so happy when Jacob wakes up from a nap. When he comes home from daycare, he’s more excited to see Jacob than to see me.

My heart overflows when I see the love Rory has for his little brother.

One thing that surprised me was how my body felt in the days after the birth. Overall I felt great but I had no abdominal strength. I couldn’t pick Rory up for the first week. I would normally carry him quite a lot, and I could tell he didn’t understand why I suddenly stopped. I so badly wanted to pick him up but I just couldn’t do it.

If you’ve read my pregnancy updates you’ll know that I weaned Rory one month before Jacob was born. Thankfully there’s been no jealousy over my breastfeeding Jacob. It’s a bit of a juggle, but I’ll often read to Rory while I’m feeding and I think that’s helped him to feel more included.

Another thing I didn’t expect was the change in Rory’s behaviour and attitude. There were a good few weeks where Rory repeatedly told me to ‘go away’. He’d also hit and try and push me away. While the changes are completely normal, they were still heartbreaking.

My partner had a month off work and it was so helpful having him around. Daddy became Rory’s favourite during this time and they did a lot together. I missed spending so much time with Rory (and I still do), but it did make it easier in the cluster-feeding days.

The month after he returned to work was the hardest. Especially since he worked away for at least a few nights each week. Jacob was still so little and we had no real routine, so trying to get both boys to sleep was a real struggle. It usually involved an overtired baby screaming in my arms and Rory in his bed asking for a cuddle that I couldn’t give him.

It was also in this month that we entered the hitting and throwing toys phase. I thought my sweet, gentle boy would never be a hitter. But he was. Although thankfully it’s a phase that has mostly now ended.

One of the hardest parts was always feeling like I was saying ‘no’ to Rory. We were both grumpy and I felt like I was annoyed at him all day, every day. And the guilt of that would eat me up. It wasn’t his fault that I was tired and stressed and trying to juggle everything.

When you introduce a new baby to the family, it’s not just you adjusting to life with a new born. Your eldest is also learning. They’re learning what life is like now that they’re not the centre of your attention and they are trying to adjust to all of it too.

When I realised this I tried so hard to flip the way I dealt with Rory. Rather than saying no, no, no, I started praising him for being gentle. I acknowledged all the things we was doing right, rather than putting so much focus on what he was doing that was “wrong”. This simple change made us both so much happier.

I started to feel like I was finding my feet at around the 10 week mark. Jacob needed me slightly less and was happy to not spend every second in my arms. Getting out of the house was no longer so hard. And we had all adjusted to our new normal.

For anyone about to welcome a second baby to your family, I swear by baby wearing. It was and still is an absolute lifesaver. Baby wearing was the only way I was able to get us all ready in the morning. It’s also a way for baby to get in some decent day naps and feel secure as they adjust to life earthside.

Now we’re four months in and I’ve found lots of strategies to make things easier. Unlike Rory as a baby, Jacob is happy to take most of his naps in his bassinet. And Rory had learnt to be quiet while Jacob sleeps, as this is when we get to have one on one time together.

I love that we now get more time to be just us two. And in saying that, the two days that Rory’s at daycare are a godsend. It’s lovely to have time to bond with Jacob on my own. And it’s so quiet without a toddler! I also use those two days to get as much housework done as I can.

Some days were, and still are, super hard. Some days all three of us shed tears. But no matter how hard it can be, life with two kids is more than worth it.

And the good far outweighs the negatives. Watching them together is beyond amazing. Seeing Jacob smile at Rory makes me so happy. Happier than I could have imagined.

I wouldn’t change it and I’m so thankful to have two, I just wish I prepared myself a bit better mentally.

My best piece of advice for soon to be mums of two, is to experiment and try different things. Some things work, some may make things harder. Some things will be completely different to what you expected. Some days you’re not sure how you’ll manage to survive. But you’ll get there.

The juggle will always be there but you learn how to keep the balls up for longer. You recover quicker and with less anger/guilt/sadness when you drop a ball or two. You’ll find your new normal and feel settled and confident as a mum of two. I promise.

Erin Williams